Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Archduke Trio

beethoven

Beethoven’s first published works—his Opus No.1—were three trios for piano, violin and cello and already they show a marked advance on Haydn’s trios in the comparative interdependence of the three parts. Their freedom from Haydn’s oppressive formality looks forward to the first mature trios, the pair that comprises Opus 70, displaying all sorts of harmonic twists, thematic innovations and structural idiosyncrasies, these trios make much of the piano part and contain plenty of dramatic outbursts that are typical of Beethoven’s middle period.

Even more arresting is the first of the Opus 70 trios (1808) nicknamed ”The Ghost” because of its mysterious and haunting Largo. Its sibling boasts a cheerful bombastic finale that is the most entertaining music that Beethoven composed for this combination of instruments.

The “Archduke” Trio Opus 97 (1811) was Beethoven’s last full-scale work for piano trio and is typically conclusive. The third movement is its center of gravity, a highly moving set of variations with the cello dominating the thematic content. It opens with a hymn-like theme and progresses to a coda which magnificently sums up the movements ideas. The finale might be less powerful than that of Opus 70 No. 2, but it nevertheless has a sweeping rhythmic power. Again, it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that Beethoven defined the piano trio form that it retained throughout the 19th century by allowing the string instruments the status of genuinely equal partners in this superlative performance.

Read more at Ludwig Van Beethoven Piano Trios Opus 70 No. 2, Opus 97 “Archduke” | World Music Report.

September 28: On This Day in Music

today

1598 ~ The first patent to print songbooks was issued on this day to Thomas Morley, a composer of madrigal songs.

OCMS 1902 ~ Donald Jay Grout, American musicologist
A History of Western Music.  An older version of this book is available for loan in the O’Connor Music Studio
More information about Grout

• 1927 ~ Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Mexican composer

• 1928 ~ Glen Gray’s orchestra recorded Under a Blanket of Blue, with Kenny Sargeant on vocals.

• 1930 ~ Tommy Collins (Leonard Sipes), Singer, songwriter

• 1938 ~ Ben E. King (Benjamin Earl Nelson), Singer, songwriter

• 1946 ~ Helen Shapiro, Singer, actress

• 1968 ~ The Beatles rode the nearly seven-minute-long Hey Jude to the top of the charts for a nine week-run starting this day. Talk about your microgroove recording! Copies of this Apple release were shipped by the dozen to radio stations because the platters wore out after just a few plays.

• 1984 ~ Saluting his 34 years in television, Bob “If There’s an Honor I’ll Be There” Hope showed outtakes of his years in television on (where else?) NBC. When he began in television’s infancy, back in 1950, Hope said he got into the new medium “…because the contract was so delicious, I couldn’t turn it down.”

• 1991 ~ Miles Davis III passed away

• 1994 ~ “Cats” 5,000th Broadway performance (joined A Chorus Line & Oh! Calcutta!)

• 2010 ~ Dolores Wilson, American opera singer

• 2015 ~ Frankie Ford, American rock vocalist (Sea Cruise), died at the age of 76